lifestyle

Open post of the week: leggings, launches and more

This post has developed a lovely communal life of its own – it’s where I fill you in on the behind the scenes of Mamamia and you discuss anything at all that’s on your mind or “On My Mind – OMM” (in case you’re wondering what that means in some of the comments).

This week has been an intense one on the site – from the sublime to the ridiculous. I don’t particularly want to move the discussions about a few issues that are already going on here and here over to this post but we’ve all really felt the energy course through the site this week.

Not in a bad way at all. In an exciting, relevant, passionate way. I often think MM is at its best when it’s a bit raw and feisty without being abusive. I don’t feel either of those posts have deteriorated into nastiness and we’ve deleted very very few comments. Hardly any in fact.

There’s another post you may not have caught before it flew off the homepage (as we publish more content, it’s live for a shorter and shorter amount of time there which is a little bit sad. We’re trying to rectify that by tweeting and Facebooking content that’s still relevant but hidden.)

Anyway, it’s our regular ‘best of the street style blogs’ where Lucy surfs around the world for some shots of regular people wearing interesting outfits. Quite a few people were grumpy with this week’s gallery, noting that some of the looks were too wintery and there weren’t enough larger women portrayed in the mix.

Here is this week’s street style gallery:

I left the following comment in response:

In London via Glamour

Hello everyone, I’ve taken a closer look at the gallery in the light of some of your comments.
Have to say, it’s FREEZING where I am (Sydney! in December!) so I wasn’t so bothered by some of the winterish outfits.

It’s interesting to read what you’ve described as your frustrations with this post on an on-going basis. I’ve always been of the mind that you can be smart, engaged, interested in news and also fond of looking at a nice frock (or jeans or shoe or bag or….) so we do run celeb fashion galleries on MM and they’re popular.

But since we try not to run shots of celebrities that are taken intrusively (ie: off duty, with their kids, going about their private business etc), the shots tend to be very homogenised. All red carpet. Mostly ‘gowns’. No doubt fully styled up with a coterie of professionals behind the scenes.

Lovey to look at but pretty samey.

We envisioned this ‘street style’ post as being an bit of an antidote to that. It’s not meant to be taken literally – as in, you should wear this. More of a peep into what real people are wearing in their real lives.

Admittedly they are stylish people but they don’t earn a living from the way they look (like celebs and models).

I believe the bodies in this gallery – and the ages and nationalities – ARE diverse! Certainly a million times more diverse than magazines or red carpets.

Please don’t go through counting the images and estimating what size the women are and what proportion etc etc.

Well, you can, but we’ll always fail by that measure. We try really really hard to look for shots that portray as much diversity as possible. This is not easy but it’s important. We must do it and we do.
But since we don’t create these images ourselves, we are limited by what’s already out there. This sounds a bit cop-out-y but we currently don’t have the resources to find and shoot new images.

As for linking back to blogs – much to our frustration – our tech people are consumed with work and that has taken a number. So it won’t happen overnight but it will happen.

Perhaps it’s time to rest the street style gallery. I’ve found, oddly enough, all through my career that when you try to do something moving towards diversity, it tends to attract far more criticism than when you just follow the status quo.

By that I mean that on our galleries where every celeb is a size 8 (which is frustrating but again, we don’t control the size of celebrities and the culture of Hollywood – wish we did!), there is rarely any mention of it. But in a gallery that tries to be diverse, there are complaints (always) that it’s not diverse ENOUGH.

I understand and I share your frustration about diversity.

But I guess what I’m saying is we’re trying and we will continue to try harder.

You can check out the gallery in question here and we’d be keen to hear your thoughts – either on that post or this one.

OXFAM

After reading about the brilliant and inspiring Oxfam gift ideas in this post (they’re not just for Christmas – they work for any occasion) I bumped into a stall in my local Westfield and stocked up on pre-natal-classes, goats, chickens, women’s shelter emergency kits and a bunch of other ‘presents’ that really do embody the gift of giving…..

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VALUES & WISDOM

I did receive a beautiful email this week from a woman called Margaret Summerhays which I wanted to share because it really touched me and made me think:

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Dear Mia,

Where do I begin?? Why are we parents so insecure about being parents when, so often, every other aspect of our lives are so self-assured?

I believe that it’s because we’ve turned things completely upside down.  Instead of society reflecting the values of the family, we families are looking to society for guidance. But we are the primary educators of our children.  Society often teaches us what is fashionable at the time.  When our children are adults, there will, most probably, be another set of values being imposed (rightly or wrongly) on them.

Meanwhile, lets get down to the basics of being a parent.  Look into the crystal ball as ask ourselves what sort of human being we’d like our children to be in, say, twenty, forty and sixty years.  Not what type of job they may have, not how much money they are earning, not how many musical instruments they are proficient at but rather, what type of character they possess.  Are they kind?  Are they honest and sincere? Are they unselfish – that’s a hard one when we are so often inclined to shower our children with as many material goods as we can afford.  Will they possess fortitude or will they give up with the first obstacle?  Will they show temperance and restraint –  will they be able able to say “Yes” when that is the right thing to do.  And will they be able to say “No” when to occasion calls for a “no”?  But, most importantly, will they know the difference?

What sort of character would you like in the man your daughter chooses to marry? Likewise, what about the wife your son selects?  Set about raising your children with those goals in mind.  Of course you are projecting your values onto your children.  So you should.  Don’t beat yourself up about that.  Then you’ll be able to say to yourself with confidence – “Yes Mia. You are correct about the tights.”

From one loving mother to another,

Margaret Summerhays

THE YEAR

I’ve never felt a year go as fast as 2011. Wasn’t it New Years Eve like, last weekend? How did it get to be December? Clearly the weather in some parts of Australia is also feeling confused because many of us are dragging out coats, boots, doonas and heaters that we thought were well and truly packed away for the year. Maybe that’s why I’m not feeling very Christmassy?

The Mamamia Business Directory

TWO LAUNCHES AND NO LUNCHES

We’re not big on going out to lunch at MM. I’ve always been a sandwich-at-my-desk kind of girl. I’d prefer to work through and leave early to get home to my kids. But what we are big on at the moment is LAUNCHES. On Monday we launched the Mamamia Business Directory where you can list your business or service so the entire Mamamia community can see it and find their way to you. If you’re looking for something or someone, please check it out. There are some fantastic listings up already and the feedback has been brilliant.

Next week, we launch Mamamia Shopping which we’ve been working on for months and are almost ready to show you. Check back for more details.

And finally, I just wanted to give a shout-out to the MM editorial team who work harder than you could possibly imagine and are more tolerant of my eccentricities and impulsiveness than anyone should have to be. Lana, Rick, Bec, Nat & Lucy – thank you.

Um, when did this turn into an Oscar speech?

Anyway – here’s what we’ve been up to around the office this week:

What’s on your mind (OMM)? What’s rocking your boat for better or worse right now?

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